Lee native Larrivee making the call for Wisconsin basketball at Final Four
Wayne Larrivee said he thought his basketball broadcasting season ended after the second and third rounds of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament.
Not only was Larrivee's thought wrong, but the Lee High School graduate will also be embarking on quite the broadcasting experiment this weekend.
Larrivee will be the play-by-play broadcaster for one of three Turner network broadcasts of this weekend's Final Four. He will be part of a broadcast crew that is going to be focused on the University of Wisconsin.
"I'm curious to see how it works," Larrivee said. "It's tremendously innovative."
CBS and Turner Sports will be providing exclusive coverage of this weekend's Final Four and national championship game, but with a major twist.
The regular broadcasts of the Final Four and the title game will be seen on TBS Saturday and Monday with the CBS/Turner crew of Jim Nantz, Greg Anthony and Steve Kerr.
On the TNT and truTV networks, there will be what a press release calls a "Teamcast," with broadcasters who have a local connection to a team and better knowledge of one team.
Larrivee, who is the radio voice of the Green Bay Packers and has covered Wisconsin for the Big Ten Network, will be working with former Wisconsin player Mike Kelley on truTV. It will be the second game of the doubleheader.
"I think what [Turner and CBS] really wanted to do, it would have been ideal for Turner to get the [local] radio guys," Larrivee said. "The next best thing is to get people with a local connection."
Between staying with their radio calls or their contracts, the radio play-by-play broadcasters were unavailable to participate in the ‘teamcast' attempt.
The "Kentucky Teamcast" will be on TNT opposite the broadcasts with Larrivee and Nantz. Kentucky TV play-by-play broadcaster Rob Bromley and former Wildcat star Rex Chapman will call the game.
The truTV UConn broadcast team for the opening game against Florida will have longtime New England area broadcaster Eric Frede on play-by-play. Former Huskies player Donny Marshall will be the analyst and former UConn women's basketball star Swin Cash will be the sideline reporter.
According to a release from CBS and Turner, the teamcast will present the game with comprehensive team and player storylines, custom music, graphics and show packaging along with additional camers and team-specific replays.
"We'll be calling it as we see it. Are we going to be happy when Wisconsin scores? Yeah," Larrivee said. "The difference is like it would be for Packers radio. You're intested in who wins the game.
"Two weeks ago, I was happy the Badgers won. It didn't matter for our broadcast. We wanted good games."
Larrivee has been the radio voice of the Packers since 1999 and has spent some three decades broadcasting NFL games. He has been part of the Big Ten Network since 2007.
He spent four days at home in Milwaukee, broadcasting second and third-round games, working with Kelly Tripucka on Westwood One's radio broadcasts of the tournament. But Larrivee figured that broadcasting the Final Four wasn't, as he put it, "in the cards.
"I've never been to a Final Four," he said. "It should be fun. It wasn't in the cards as I saw it. Maybe if Wisconsin gets in. My season usually ends at the regionals."
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